The Importance of Being Earnest
Published: May 26, 2015
Author: Laura Rodnitzky
Part of my job at 3Q is taking feedback from our employees and identifying areas for us to improve as an organization. The feedback comes through a number of channels: TINYPulse (a bi-weekly employee survey), various task force committees in the organization, new hire check-ins, exit interviews, and good old direct communication with employees. Some of the feedback is anonymous (e.g. TINYPulse) but much of it is not – I am grateful to those employees who feel comfortable speaking up, whether anonymously or directly, about questions, concerns, or suggestions they have. It would be impossible for myself, the executive team, our office coordinators, or our managers to know what people really want and need if we didn’t receive this kind of honest information.
And many of the great things about working at 3Q have come about as a direct result of these conversations and suggestions. Here are just two examples:
LocalPerks – We give each office a monthly budget to spend however they want: food for the kitchen, events, massages, special equipment, weekly lunches… pretty much anything, as long as it’s legal! Some of the highlights so far: the San Francisco office bought itself a kegerator, Vermont got an amazing heated foot massager and a day of skiing, Chicago and San Mateo bought Fitbits for everyone in the office (and had a healthy intra-office challenge), and San Diego has enjoyed trips to the zoo and baseball games (while the rest of us suffered through winter). Not to be left out, our remote employees get a monthly stipend to spend on anything that will improve their work environment – which for some people means fancy keyboards and for others, a mani-pedi. While we’ve always had food and events for our offices, the idea of LocalPerks came about when one of our task forces suggested we decentralize everything and let each office (with its own unique culture) decide what was most important for its team. It’s been really fun to see not only how the different offices choose to spend their money, but also how different people step up in each office to take on responsibility for managing the LocalPerks budgets, planning events, or getting consensus from the group.
3Q You – Over the past couple of years, our fantastic training team has built out a lot of internal training focused on what we do best: digital marketing. But we noticed a trend among some of our departing employees: they had learned a ton at 3Q but eventually reached a plateau and were uncertain how they could continue to grow and develop new skills. We wanted to give employees an opportunity to boost their professional and personal development, outside of what we already offer through our internal training. And so we created 3Q You, which allows employees to take courses at local colleges (or online) that will help them progress into new areas within the organization, such as management roles, or build upon the unique talents they already have. While the program is still relatively new, around 10% of our employees have taken advantage of it to pursue courses ranging from negotiations and business communication to enterprise data management.
It’s safe to say that neither of these programs would have come about without the direct feedback from employees. We already had food and perks – but how were we to know that the way they were being delivered was detracting from people’s enjoyment? And we know we have a lot to offer in terms of training – but we needed others to help identify where we were lacking.
And so, I’d encourage everyone – whether you work at 3Q or somewhere else – to speak up if you have a suggestion that you think would improve the employee experience, or client experience, or anything else about your organization. The worst that can happen is they say, “Thanks for the feedback, but it’s not something we can do at this time.” But it could be that you are sitting on a great idea that just needs the right audience – so don’t hold back! In the words of Jerry Maguire (I may be dating myself): Help me help you.